Sewing Essentials To Stock Up On


There are some sewing essentials it’s worth stocking up on. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself doing this without even noticing. After several years of sewing, I have multiples of certain items:

  • Elastic in varying widths. So why do I never have enough of just the one I need?
  • Myriad zips, though the 9 inch black invisible zip I invariably need is invariably missing.
  • A ramshackle collection of thread, some cheap and fluffy, some less so. I’ll use it all!
  • Good quality interfacings. I’ve found this to be one of the best investments, bought from here. I always have a selection in my stash.
  • A variety of lining fabrics. If you see a lining you like, I suggest buying a couple of metres. You’ll never know when it will come in handy.
  • New needles for the sewing machine.
  • Ribbons, lace, clear elastic, seam binding, stay tape.
  • Buttons! You can never have too many gorgeous buttons.


Pins and pincushions. I have over six pin cushions and I always keep one in the bedroom! These Merchant and Mills entemology pins have proved themselves to be invaluable.

Silk Pins

Buying fabric is the fun part of sewing. It’s always so annoying when you get home and realise you don’t have the right bits and pieces to actually start sewing.

What do you have loads of? Anything you recommend stocking up on?

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32 Responses to Sewing Essentials To Stock Up On

  1. Trims are my downfall, I can hardly pass up a pretty braid or ribbon. Not for clothing but for all those little fun projects, like mini Christmas stockings. I also love good needles and beeswax for the thread, as it makes handsewing so much nicer. And j’adore hand sewing 🙂
    You do ask interesting questions! And isn’t a photo of a box of coloured threads always delicious. 🙂

    • Natalie Cone says:

      I agree with you completely, and your descriptions are so adorable. Boxes of colors threads are definitely delicious. 🙂

      I can’t say particularly what I stock up on, because I have mounds of everything. I save every scrap for a crazy quilt I am working on. I save old clothes to repurpose. But I never seem to have enough thread for the project that I need, or the right color!

  2. Maga says:

    Good quality biasbinding – I invaribly end up making my own from batiks or quilting cotton because most ready-to.use biasbinding is horrible, so when I come across good quality I buy.

  3. Lining is a good one. I never, ever have lining, and I never think to buy it until I’m trying to make something. I’ll take your advice and stock up a bit.

  4. FabricKate says:

    Great post.

    I agree about zips, linings, and interfacing. I have yards of hab silk in colours I love – bright pink, turquoise, emerald, plus white that I dye or paint on if I have time. I also have yards of calico so I can make up a toile (no excuses). If you find the colours that suit you, you can buy up thread in every colour and know it will work with the fabrics you choose. Plus, i really recommend buying basting thread – in white, pink and yellow, or blue. Invaluable.

  5. boldlygold says:

    Thanks for the reminder! I desperately need to stock up on all of the above!

  6. Great ideas. I have so much thread I don’t suppose I’ll ever need to buy any again. It was part of my Nan’s sewing kit and is a vast collection. I agree with the interfacing and zips great idea. And buttons I feel really nostalgic and happy when I get my button jar out and rummage. The kids love them too and it can keep them amused- sorting by colour, then size while I sew!

  7. Judy Edmonds says:

    I always make sure I have large reels of good quality thread in black, navy, white and cream. At a pinch, one of these will sew almost anything if you need to do it in a hurry and don’t have time to buy matching thread, or don’t have any in the stash.

  8. I seem to always have loads of everything. But when it comes to gathering all the bits for a project I always seem to end up having to buy something. Can’t work that one out.

  9. shivani says:

    i agree with all of this, but I despite hoarding away these essentials, I never have the right colour thread on hand, or zip (but I’ve started stocking up on long zips – you can always shorten, but never lengthen!).

  10. I buy tons of machine needles, thread and zippers in basic colors but I never seem to have what I need on hand! I also keep a lot of buttons around as well as elastic, of course. I would love to have a better selection of trims and ribbons but I never know what to buy and how much!

    I recommend always having a couple of colors of silk thread on hand. I have white and grey (grey is for use on white!). I use it for basting and it’s unbelievably smooth and strong. It never snags and it’s easy to pull out when it’s time to remove it.

  11. Ginderella says:

    I always buy matching thread when buying fabric from a store. Online purchases are a little tricker, but as I work close by to a large fabric store, can always take my delviery with me a lunch time and stock up.

    Seam rippers, when I need one mine go into hiding!

  12. Zoe says:

    Oh awesome post. Def good to have different elastics on hand. I physically can’t start a sewing project unless I know I have everything needed to complete it right from the very beginning, even if I might not get to the zip stage or whatever that day. Too frustrating having to stop mid-project to go and buy something small and annoying like a matching thread. xx

  13. LinB says:

    Scissors, of varied sizes. It helps to have a decent pair of scissors everywhere you sew — have a large pair and a small pair near your machines. Have a pair where you do your cutting out. Have some near where you sit to watch t.v. Have more than one pair of pinking shears. I find that, the older I get, the more I appreciate the light weight and stay-sharpness of Fiskar brand shears and scissors. I use one of their shear-sharpeners to keep a keen edge on my blades.
    I try to keep a variety of colors in my thread baskets, but, in a pinch, you can always use grey thread. I keep a variety of greys (grays?) in one big basket … they’re useful in many applications, not the least of which is as topstitching to unify colors in a busy print, or when combining prints within one garment. Or when you run out of the perfect color, or when you don’t care that the inside of your garment would not win a prize in a judged contest.

  14. Jen (NY) says:

    Good advice. I have accumulated one large overflowing plastic box of such things, trims, bindings, buttons, zippers. But, yes, it’s always the elastic! I have good supply of thread, which is stored separately in an Ikea kids’ collection boxes. I buy a new spool of black or gray cotton thread nearly every time I stop by my usual supply shop, regardless. I also have to agree with LinB on having scissors everywhere. I won a pair of Fiskars shears awhile ago and I am a convert.

    • Sewer from Across the Pond says:

      I have a lot of elastic from when I first started sewing, but I’ve since decided that elastic is a sign of cheaper clothes so I rarely use it.

  15. missphd says:

    I’ve started buying twice the thread I’ll need whenever I’m buying for a specific project to try to build up my stash. One thing I can never have enough of is interfacing – I do a lot of mending and it comes in handy!!

  16. Eileen says:

    (Ooops! The last comment linked to the wrong name/blog)

    I’ve started buying twice the thread I’ll need whenever I’m buying for a specific project to try to build up my stash. One thing I can never have enough of is interfacing – I do a lot of mending and it comes in handy!!

  17. Sewer from Across the Pond says:

    I’m always willing to try many types of notions and tools, e.g., chalks, chalk sharpeners, measuring tools, pins, needles, needle threaders, thimbles, beeswax, thread conditioner, shears, scissors, but I actually try not to buy fabrics and buttons unless I have an actual need. My sewing supplies are overwhelming as it is. If I need something, I go to the store and buy it.

  18. Sabs says:

    I 😻 the cat button!
    (Says the crazy cat lady)

  19. Pearl says:

    My favorite fabric store has a regular notions sale, usually over long weekends. They put all pre-packaged notions, up to a value of $15.00, on sale for 50% off, including zippers, thread, and buttons. About every second or third sale, they put their linings and interfacing on sale as well. Needless to say, i’m well stocked in everything I could want!

  20. sewexhausted says:

    I just organized all my notions- I have TONS of thread and elastics, lots of buttons (but never the right ones!), and ribbon, zippers and interfacing galore. I LIKE having all these goodies on hand. And honestly I will keep buying it! I also have THREE pairs of gingher scissors , probably 2000 pins, and I even found 12 marking pencils (lol). ~Laurie

  21. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Have started stocking up on basic colours of good seam bindings, particularly the lacey wide style ~ in addition to everything else you’ve listed!

  22. Amy says:

    I love the satisfaction of having just the right trim or button in your stash. I may have spent FAR too much money on the fabric, but if I’ve already got the zipper or the buttons in my stash, I feel virtuous for having ‘saved money’!

  23. Sheree says:

    I agree with you about the interfacing stockist. Trouble is now that I have bought some, I don’t really want to use my old stuff! As for linings, I must admit, even though I have sewn for years I am not sure what makes a good lining. Any help appreciated…….? please.

  24. maddie says:

    Pins! I always stock up on pins because just like socks, they disappear out of nowhere (I’m convinced the dryer eats them!)

  25. Hello! Heads up from a fellow Walthamstow sewer (Walthamsewer?) – Saeed has some good fusible interfacing in at the mo (or at least he did last week…). Not sure how much it is though, as he threw in a couple of metres with my latest splurge 🙂

  26. triggsey says:

    What a great post! I have been sewing for so long sometimes I feel like I have too many of everything. Invariably, I run out of elastic as well…(why I don’t just buy a big reel of 100yds, I don’t know…will keep us in pajama bottoms for years) I am also considering buying a full bolt (I think it’s 50 yds) of plain un-bleached muslin for pattern making, toile making etc… I keep running to the fabric store for 5 yds at a time. I would also say to have big stash of machine needles, pins and zippers in standard sizes and colors, and straight pins. I like the quilting straight pins with the big yellow heads…easier to find on my floor and my cat likes to pull them out of my pincushion!

  27. I don’t think enough can be said for a good sharp needle on the sewing machine. I never knew this until I was an adult taking some sewing classes to undo my bad habit ways. I’m also a vintage pattern junkie – which is why I guess it is good I have my vintage pattern Etsy shop to help feed my addiction even more. My weakness are vintage coat patterns and 1960s/70s Mod. How can you not love such a fun fashion style 🙂

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